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TrueGold

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Greetings All And Happy Holidays!

Newbie question: Does hot process soap sweat?

I'm a melt & pour soap maker and wanting to go into HP (CP is just too long and bothersome for me). My issue with MP soaps are that they are prone to sweating in humid environments like here in Sydney, Australia. I've looked at some YouTube tutorials on HP soaps and it seems easier and quicker to make, although someone commented that they don't look as 'nice' as CP soaps?

Thanks

Adz
 

artemis

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... it seems easier and quicker to make, although someone commented that

I don't think it's easier. For a simple CP, you can mix it all together, pour it into the mold and walk away. When I made HP, I felt like I had to babysit it while it was in the pot.

Obviously, there are more complicated options, but if you're just starting out, I expect you'll be keeping it pretty simple.
 
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Does HP soap sweat?
One-word answer: no. More in-depth: With the vast majority of recipes out there, HP soap does not sweat by itself. But of course you can always throw nasty stuff into it, that makes it sweat.
(ETA: All soap will start sweating under most adverse humid conditions. It's just the natural thing of the hygroscopic constituents (naturally occurring glycerol etc.) to pull water. It's another thing if it does under realistic conditions (say, bathroom). Then it depends – but you'll probably know from your M&P experience. CP and HP contain identical amounts of glycerol; much less than M&P bases.)

Is HP easier/faster/different to CP at all?
One-word answer: no. Without a clue (e. g. from design elements), it isn't even always easily evident if a soap is CP, CPOP or HP. In the end, the amount of effort you put into a soap is entirely up to your patience. On the soapmaking day, the minimum investment into work, attention, and time is a lot higher for HP than for CP. The only thing that is undoubtedly quicker with HP is the time between casting and unmoulding (few hours vs. 1…4 days). HP can't buy you a short-cut through curing.

Why then are people making HP at all? Well, it can handle some things better than CP, like working with high-melting ingredients, troublesome fragrances, or lye-sensitive additives.
Things that better shouldn't be at the beginning of a from-scratch soapmaking career anyway.

Regardless if you want to get your hands dirty with HP, or rather jump on the CP bandwagon, I'd recommend you to give the other technique a try as well, so that you can judge for yourself what you like more/what works better in your climate.
 
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^^^What @ResolvableOwl and @artemis said. HP is more work in the short-term, but you can usually cut it sooner than CP. But CP is simply measure, mix, pour, and walk away till it's ready to cut. I did HP for years, and now do mostly CP due to time constraints (and less dishes).

What can add more steps to CP is if you choose to oven-process it, or add outside heat in some way. That is completely optional. It is usually done to make the colors "pop" a bit more, and sometimes to get the loaf to harden a bit sooner for unmolding and cutting. But again, adding heat to CP soaps is optional.

Also, if you do want to heat-process your CP, but fussing with the oven is not a good option for you, many of us successfully use heating pads + insulation to achieve the same effect. Doesn't tie up the oven or transfer any smells to it. Still, many of my CP soaps gel on their own with just insulation, which for me is an insulated food delivery box or bag. I only use the heating pad if I am making a specific design that calls for bright colors.

I will say that CP takes more time for the cleanup, since you are either wiping out a greasy bowls and spatulas right away, or wiping them and letting them sit for a few days so the residue becomes soap, and is easily washed away. I solve that by keeping a cardboard veggie box from Costco in my soaping room. Dirty soap dishes sit in that box till I'm ready to take it to the laundry sink in the next room, and wash them. After washing, they go right back into the veggie box with a towel underneath to catch drips. After air drying, I cart the veggie box back to the soap room and put things away. Easy-peasy.
 

TrueGold

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@artemis Ah right, that makes sense since you do have keep monitoring the crockpot.

@ResolvableOwl Thank you for your in-depth thoughts! Yes, one of the things the I like about HP (compared to CP) is to do with the fragrance retention – I prefer as much of the fragrance notes a possible. But definitely the 'non-sweating' is a huge appeal to me. There's a HP YouTube recipe that I like but they use Glycerin which I believe will cause the sweating (as you pointed out), even though it's HP.

@AliOop Yes, the ability to cut it sooner appealed to me the most. I sell my soaps and I'm constantly testing out new range and variations which is why I love the MP's ability to be so agile in the turnaround time. I simply just can't wait 1 month+ to test out 10-20 new soap range only to find out there are issues at the end.

Thank you all, I'll give it a go :)
 
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Relle

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@AliOop Yes, the ability to cut it sooner appealed to me the most. I sell my soaps and I'm constantly testing out new range and variations which is why I love the MP's ability to be so agile in the turnaround time. I simply just can't wait 1 month+ to test out 10-20 new soap range only to find out there are issues at the end.

Thank you all, I'll give it a go :)

Not AliOop, but you will still have to cure HP for 4 - 6 weeks before using. It's not make and use straight away.
 
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Totally agree with @Relle. You may be able to cut and safely use your HP soap pretty quickly, but it will be very soft and will dissolve very quickly in the shower or bath. It will be much, much nicer after several weeks of curing. If you sell it right away, you are doing your customers and your own reputation a disservice.
 

TrueGold

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@Relle @AliOop – thanks for the tips, yes most definitely. I was more thinking about the testing of all these new soap range and HP can solidify a lot quicker (from what I can see on tutorials) than CP and be able to make adjustments, if necessary, rather than wait 6 weeks and then test again.
 
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@Relle @AliOop – thanks for the tips, yes most definitely. I was more thinking about the testing of all these new soap range and HP can solidify a lot quicker (from what I can see on tutorials) than CP and be able to make adjustments, if necessary, rather than wait 6 weeks and then test again.
True - but I quite often 'test' my CP soap within a matter of days. I don't really need to anymore because I have a couple of standard recipes and i know how they perform (as soap) but I often can't resist testing a new fragrance. As long as it passes the zap test it is relatively safe to use, it's just that it is milder ( and tends to lather better) the more it cures. I certainly wouldn't recommend selling before a minimum of four weeks cure is up, but I reckon many of us are guilty of testing or using them ourselves well before that time is up.
 
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Likewise guilty on that one, Kiwi. It's why I always have more than one bar of soap out - because I just have to test the new ones. Then the guilt comes... if I had only waited till the other bar was used up. Now I have two bars (or umm, maybe more) and will dither at the sink about which one to use.
 

TrueGold

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Ahhh! Thanks for your insights everyone, it's making me a bit more confident in going the HP (and maybe CP) route.
 
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Likewise guilty on that one, Kiwi. It's why I always have more than one bar of soap out - because I just have to test the new ones. Then the guilt comes... if I had only waited till the other bar was used up. Now I have two bars (or umm, maybe more) and will dither at the sink about which one to use.
Yup - any excuse to wash my hands and I'm in! lol
 

TrueGold

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So, I thought I'd update you all. Here's my first attempt at Cold Process soap making:



















Is the batter meant to look like this?

I followed a kind lady's YouTube tutorial and used:

420g Coconut Oil
117g Water
57g Lye
12g Fragrance Oil

When I mixed the oil + lyed water it seemed fine until I poured the FO. It seemed to grain up and be sludgy, is that ok and usable?

IMG_4449.JPG


IMG_4452.JPG
 
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So, I thought I'd update you all. Here's my first attempt at Cold Process soap making:

View attachment 63667


Is the batter meant to look like this?

I followed a kind lady's YouTube tutorial and used:

420g Coconut Oil
117g Water
57g Lye
12g Fragrance Oil

When I mixed the oil + lyed water it seemed fine until I poured the FO. It seemed to grain up and be sludgy, is that ok and usable?

View attachment 63668

View attachment 63669
You might be better to put all this into a new thread under 'beginners soap making' because things can get lost in this long thread, and there people will be able to help you troubleshoot.
I'll wait and respond to you on there :)

Whoops _ I totally thought this was in the 'soapy thing' thread.

Your soap may have riced a little from the FO ( check the reviews to see if it causes ricing) or if the batter got too cool it looks like the coconut oil may have started setting up in places, causing the graininess (which is kinda what ricing is anyway).

The recipe will be very harsh with 100% CO unless there is a large superfat. Did you run the recipe through a soap calculator?

It looks like it might be going to set up ok but its hard to tell from the last picture - is that out of the mold already but it still has a wet top?
 
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TrueGold

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You might be better to put all this into a new thread under 'beginners soap making' because things can get lost in this long thread, and there people will be able to help you troubleshoot.
I'll wait and respond to you on there :)

Whoops _ I totally thought this was in the 'soapy thing' thread.

Your soap may have riced a little from the FO ( check the reviews to see if it causes ricing) or if the batter got too cool it looks like the coconut oil may have started setting up in places, causing the graininess (which is kinda what ricing is anyway).

The recipe will be very harsh with 100% CO unless there is a large superfat. Did you run the recipe through a soap calculator?

It looks like it might be going to set up ok but its hard to tell from the last picture - is that out of the mold already but it still has a wet top?

Aha good idea! @KiwiMoose – is there a way just change some settings to port this over or do I have to manually start a new one and copy + paste?
 

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